I’ll Come Back When I’m Ready

My friends and I have been talking about this a lot. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, too.

My immediate circle of friends and I agree upon one thing – that this year has been an absolute force to reckon with. The stuff that we have done in the last few months alone, and the things we’ve learnt, have been beyond epiphanic. I’m at a loss for words when I try to describe how real and challenging and rewarding this year has been. I have never felt this alive, and I have never felt this scared.

You ever do something so out of league it surprises you that you even had the nerve? That’s essentially how my year’s been going so far. Everything from attending a fellowship for Instagram, performing a live audience, flying to Darjeeling on my own, to opening an Etsy shop, to making new friends, I done it all this year. I done it all. Some of them exceeded my expectations, some turned out fine, and some, well. Some been shi**y.

YLAC, for example, opened up so many doors for me, not only in the outside world, but in myself, too. The Counter Speech Fellowship with Instagram has been my biggest achievement yet, and I cannot explain how big of a feat it has been. Guys. I used to HATE Instagram. I hated it to the core. I detested the whole idea of communication via the social internet, mostly because I was scared. I was afraid I’d lose myself in a rush to prove myself to a disconnected audience, to pretend that connections were real when they were the exact opposite, and worst: I thought I’d lose myself, trying so hard to be the person I wished I was but never would be.

I hated Instagram. I hated sharing. But now I don’t.

Achievement? Yes, sir. Gimme a pat on the back, I deserve it.

Then there’s stuff like Etsy, which I did in the most sudden, random outburst of creative energy I have ever experienced. I had a little artwork lying around, I like money, I combined the two ideas, boom, Etsy.

It didn’t work out lol

I got so caught up in the idea of selling my ideas and my thoughts to people that I forgot that this is supposed to feel good. My art is supposed to heal me, before it even tries to heal anyone else. So I left Etsy at that, feeling slightly disheartened about the whole thing.

Just this evening, the universe sent out the words I needed, as always, in the form of my mom and her sage-like advice. She said, and I quote, “It’s good to try something and realize you’re not ready for it. One day, when you put your heart to it, you will be.”

To all the people who are reading this and feeling like you’re being pushed down by the weight of your own expectations, I say this — just because you did something wrong doesn’t mean you’re bad at it, or that you suck, or that your worthless without this thing to feel proud of. It just means you ain’t ready, son. Take your time. Chill. Do something that makes you feel at ease. Keep trying. Don’t stop trying. But don’t rush it. Do more of the stuff that builds you up to the thing you’re not ready for. Build yourself up to that strength. When you’re ready, you’ll know. Let me know, too. I’ll cheer for you.


Uncertain and Afraid

Photo by Alfred Kenneally on Unsplash

Forgive me in advance if this post doesn’t seem like your cup of tea. I’m unspooling a lot of thoughts from my head at the moment, but fear not, I’m fine. I’m just taking my time to speak my mind.

I’ve been mesmerised by this poem lately after watching it on Vlogbrothers, called September 1st, 1939, by W.H. Auden. Like John, or even more so than him, I only treated the poem as a glimpse of the past, a past I could never fully understand. As a fifteen-year-old, I barely understand my own time, let alone an era of war that existed eighty years before I did. But as I read the poem again and listened to John, I found that there were certain parts of the poem that I could comprehend.

I find myself in this spot of my life where I feel responsible for things I’ve never done or never intended to do. There’s this strange aura around me right now that’s both very new and very discomforting, to say the least, which makes me feel terribly guilty of my actions, and until now, I didn’t know what was causing this.

The poem begins “I sit in one of the dives/ On Fifty-second Street/ Uncertain and afraid/ As the clever hopes expire/ Of a low dishonest decade“, and while these lines refer to the 1930s, it holds true for the present as well. I can’t put a finger on what it is, but something about the the decade we’re living in feels deeply scary. Sure, we’re at the pinnacle of scientific and technological breakthroughs, countries are way more secure than they were back then, but there is still a lingering aftermath of the hatred that the past endured. We find ourselves at the mercy of the social internet and its vagarious nature. Virtual communication is usurping the need to form real-life bonds. Relationships (not talking about just romantic ones, mind you) are made and shattered in seconds, and I hate it.

I find myself deeply and consistently aware of the transience of life, and though that’s an accurate description for any decade — the truth that life as we know it will end — now, that’s mixed with another, more disturbing truth: in today’s world, we are precariously tied to being fake and happy at the expense of being real and honest.

What I hate the most is how most people, including me, are terrified by this image, but not moved enough to change it. In John’s words, it’s like we’re all actors stuck in a play that we can’t rewrite.

We call people trash. We lash out at them for things they don’t necessarily control. We say it’s fine to break trust as if it’s something transitory, easily mendable, and in the process, we actually end up treating people as trash, we break trust, and we hate people just for the sake of not being able to love enough.

I now realize why I feel so guilty. It’s because I let myself be swept away by these waves of fear and hatred. I actually believed, even if for a moment, that loving people and being kind to them was not only stupid and dumb, but also extremely dangerous in this world, where hate runs everything. I hold myself responsible for the things I say out of hatred, but now I realize more and more, that the world we live in pushes me to treat every interaction with a neutral, indifferent tone. So who, exactly, do we blame? Ourselves? Circumstance?

I realize that I probably should reiterate the statement that I’m fine, but I am at the same time, absolutely clueless about how to resolve this. The last stanza of the poem does well to translate my thoughts into words:

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

As we grow older, and just a little bit wiser, I hope that we can learn to put our intense emotions aside, and just for a while, feel safe, knowing that the light we shine towards others is fair, real, pure and full of love. As Auden said,

We must love one another or die.


Looking for Purpose-It’s a Challenge

Before you start reading, I’d like to thank Idy Tanndy for this amazing guest blog post! With absolutely no brainstorming whatsoever, she sent me something that was so in tune with what I write here, I just had to post it. Please, please, please go check out Idy’s blog, because it is SO COOL and she deserves so much love from all of you!


There are a thousand and one questions to ask or consider before doing anything or going somewhere.

I wonder which of these questions comes to mind first before taking a step forward or backward.

What to do?

What should you do with what? Your love life? Career choice? Parenting? How the hell am I supposed to know or have the answers to that seemingly important question? Why are you asking the wrong person? Sincerely, I do not have the answers for you. Have you tried asking the mirror? I heard talking to it helps put things into perspective. It answered most of my questions, especially when it refused to talk back. It got me thinking about the next logical step on whether to buy a large pepperoni pizza or save that money and make myself a sandwich instead, from my kitchen.

Where to go?

The direction of your life is, unfortunately, none of my business, however, we all need guiding every now and then. So, what I will say is that you should always keep an open mind though, the course of your life will change over time and it will be your sole responsibility to see it coming and act accordingly if not, you are dead meat. So while you are fantasizing about becoming the next manager of your stationery shop in the next five years, you should also ask yourself if you will have more time for what matters the most in your life. You know? Things like family, and all that sentimental bs that makes us humans and not robots.

When to do?

I am not a time expert but I’m pretty sure, now might be the best answer. Okay, use me as your guinea pig. Every time I plan to do something, every time I have an idea which clearly aligns with my values, I always find a way to talk myself out of it. I tell myself all sorts of things like; I am not ready, that idea already exists, or that people will hate it, there is always time…lots and lots of reasons excuses in order to procrastinate that into the future. Then when I finally come out of my shell and attempt to venture to do it, I realize that all that fear was only in my head the whole fucking time. And then, I will curse myself for not beginning earlier. So when you ask? I’d bet all my money on NOW!

Why should you do it?

Why do you do anything? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why do you feed the dog? Why do you tell the people in your life how much they mean to you? Why do you save money? Heck! Why are you even asking why? Let’s start there. I read a book called ‘Why Ask Why’ when I was very young and I thought it was brilliant. In the book, the author talked about the importance of asking the right questions. Without asking the right questions in life; you may never find the right answers. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five Minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.” – Warren Buffett. So why should you do what you want to do? I do not know but you should know before starting.

How to do?

In my opinion, this is by far one of the seemingly difficult life questions you can ever begin to answer. It makes sense when you begin to answer the questions like which path your life should go, as it questions your core values, and prompts you to think about what kind of future you are planning to have. As for the question of how to go about doing what you wish to do with your life, it depends greatly on your skills and ability. Sometimes, it depends on your talents, but I greatly doubt that an untrained talent will do you any good. Then there is the issue of taking a leap of faith in the direction you have resolved to go. It can be hard to assert your confidence in the skills acquired, but how else will you know if you do not try?

Which to choose?

Finally, you which option should you go with? How about you choose what is best for you? That should be the core of every choice you make because, eventually, you will have to deal with the consequences of your choices. Good or bad. And as much as I do not want to scare you, the choices will be hard and you will still have doubts, but you will end up making a choice and will have to live with that choice for the rest of your life. So choose what you think is the best for you at that particular time and don’t look back. You may be given lots of chances to make new choices, but the past decisions you made in the past will always live with you. Choose your poison right. I guarantee that taking this last step and choosing will be very easy as soon as have taken the time to answer all the other questions.

I will like to guess that it is not easy to answer all of these questions before venturing to do anything in life, but with time and practice, it gets easier and easier. There will come a point where you do not need much effort in answering any of these questions and they come to you naturally. So relax, take your time and do not be too hard on yourself. Just keep crossing those bridges as you reach them.